FLORHAM PARK, N.J. –Bryce Petty acknowledges that there is work to be done – lots of it – but the New York Jets fourth round pick is eager to shed the label of being a byproduct of the Baylor offense.
Throughout the entire draft process, Petty was labeled as a 'system quarterback' and someone who would face a steep transition from Baylor where they operated a no-huddle in a spread offense to a more pro-style system. He rarely operated under center or even in a huddle. Instead, it was all about tempo and quick reads.
Now in the NFL and with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, the Jets will run a version of the spread offense so the transition in terms of personnel won't be too steep in that regard. But if he wants to play, he will need to operate under center more, relay language out of a huddle and be more than a quick-read quarterback.
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“It's a process and it's one you got to take day by day. It's a mountain I have to climb and I'm excited to climb. Being in kind of a spread offense where things may have been a bit more simplistic in college and coming here and being able to play quarterback a little bit,” Petty said on Friday as the Jets started rookie minicamp.
“Not that we didn't get to at Baylor but getting to do that more here, which is what I love. Have to embrace it every day, take it one day at a time.”
Petty said that the past few months from the Senior Bowl to getting here finally with an NFL team felt like six months. The next few weeks leading up to training camp later this summer likely will be a blur in comparison.
The playbook at Baylor was simpler and what he calls “choice routes” that depending on the coverage look he was given. Things will be more complex now and more multiple in terms of what he will be required to do in the pocket. He will have to go through his reads and progressions now as it isn't just about getting the ball out of his hands quickly.
Despite the fact that he looks like a pocket quarterback, Petty can run with the ball when need be. During his four years at Baylor, he had a career 191 rushing attempts and although he averaged just 1.8 yards per carry he has 21 career rushing touchdowns.
Running with the ball is something he can do.
“When I don't trip? Yea, it helps. That's something you have to take when the defense gives it to you, not something I'm definitely going to lean on,” Petty said. “If I have to, I need to pick up first downs or whatever it is, I want to do it, be able to do.
“If I don't trip I can do it.”
With Gailey overseeing his development from an offensive coordinator's perspective, Petty has one of the better minds in football helping his transition. There will be significant adjustments to be made but an offensive that saw him throw for over 8,000 yards with 61 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in college has some resemblance to what he'll be doing in the NFL.
“They're pretty similar in how they want to attack people. That's what I love about offensive games, we dictate how we want to run plays and move the ball. It's very similar in that sense,” Petty said.
“I can't wait to learn what I can from him. He's been around this league a long time.”
→In order to accommodate spots on the roster for the rookies, the Jets released tight end Chris Pantale and linebacker Chris Young.
→Rutgers center Betim Bujari is at rookie minicamp as a tryout player.
→An interesting name as far as a tryout player is J.C. Copeland. Last year, Copeland was an undrafted rookie free agent selected by the Dallas Cowboys. Several media outlets and draft analysts had him as a likely late round selection in 2014.
→New Haven tight end Mike Flacco, brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, is in camp as a tryout player.